Eau Claire (WQOW) -- The UW-Eau Claire softball team is already 20 games into their season, going 13-7 on the young season.
It's a solid start for the team picked to finish first in the WIAC this season. But coach Leslie Huntington says her squad needs to play better to be considered an elite team.
"I expected more at this point in the season," says Huntington. "I expected wins over some really good teams and we haven't done that. It's a little bit disappointing because we've definitely had opportunities. But it is what it is, we're learning every single day -- even through the hiccups we're learning. And as long as we're learning, we're getting better."
The team was outdoors for Wednesday's practice. The sunshine is a rare treat for the team who has spent most of its time indoors this year. Last season, a snow covered Gelein Field sat idle, as the weather forced the Blugolds to miss every game at the squad's home field. This year, the team is once again preparing for whatever Mother Nature has in store.
"You know, we're going to have to be even tougher this spring, because on days like today when it's a little bit chilly as long as the field is playable we're going to be out here practicing. We just can't afford to go back in the gym if we want to get where we want to be at the end of the season," says Huntington.
Junior Nikki Brooks adds: "Personally I've never played a conference game on Gelein and I'm a junior. Yes it would be nice, but if we just get outside, that's a luxury in itself. And even getting to play games, hopefully not on turf, but if even get to play them on turf -- hey, a game's a game and we're just looking to get a 'W' anywhere we can."
Weather permitting, the Blugolds open up conference play this weekend in La Crosse.
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